Breachs Ait above Sonning Lock (Sonning Hill Island)
[The name comes from John Taylor's mention of Breach's Weir, later called Breache's Fishing Bucks,
combined with John Rennie the Elder's mention of Aits here.
But it is just me trying to read back into history - none of the old maps I have looked at seem to have a name.
This 1870s map shows obstructions which may have been the remains of the weir across the upstream end of the present island, indeed it appears that there was a Thames crossing here. The track is clearly shown on both sides of the river. The channel is shown to the north of the island.]
The upstream end of the northern, right bank, channel is restricted and may be shows signs of the previous weir or fishing bucks.
Site of Breach’s Weir, Earley Point
Two lovely bends with the Island between them.
Perhaps it should be named "Earley (or Airley) Ait"
(John Rennie the Elder mentions Ayts here - see below)
1585: Bishop - Weir No. 13 ?
1632: John Taylor mentions Breach's Weir
1775: Lord Mayor’s View -
a troublesome and dangerous place; in High water almost impossible to bring a barge into the present channel except she be thrown round and her stern go foremost
[ sounds like a recipe for Oxford Punting to me! ]
1783: Breach's Weir - “a notorious nuisance”
1794: Report of a survey of the river Thames between Reading and Isleworth ... John Rennie (the Elder)
From the Kennet's mouth to Sunning Lock the water is sufficiently deep;
but at Airley Point there is a very inconvenient turn in the river,
opposite Breache's fishing bucks;
this point should be pared off, the bucks removed, and the ayts ballasted away,
to make sufficient room for the barges to turn round the point.
This work was ordered to be done, and was actually in execution when I was on my survey.
Holme Park (Bluecoat School)
Left bank above Sonning Lock
1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -
The great tall trees of Holme Park rise up behind the church, and form the snuggest of backgrounds to the church tower, and the tow-Path for a good distance above the lock, is beneath the shade of these trees.
1947: The Reading Bluecoat School moved to Holme Park -
Reading Bluecoat School at Holme Park